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Faithlife

Revived for Greater Service

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Introduction

We thank God for this past week of revival.  The Lord really blessed us through the Rev. Gary McNealy.  God’s Word challenged us to become concerned about others and do what it takes to being our friends and neighbors to the Lord.

Our theme for the week was, “Lord revive us for greater service.”  We must all understand that we have been saved not just to live a good life here on earth but also to be a servant of the Lord.  We’re called upon to get involved in our communities.

He gave us a commission:

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. KJV

When we go in Jesus name we have His presence and His power to make a difference in the world.  God would not give us a purpose with His power to fulfill it.

God has us in this world for a reason.  We are told:

1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. KJV

We are living in a dark and wicked world but Jesus has called for us to be the light of the world. 

Matthew 5:13-16

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. KJV

We are the key to the direction for the world and preservation for the earth.  As salt we need to make people thirsty for the word of the Lord.

The problem we have today is that to many of us who call ourselves Christians spend more time spreading lies and gossip than we do the gospel.

Every believer is called upon to bring the light of God’s word to the community in which they live and work.  If we are born again Christians and we are told:

2 Corinthians 5:17-20

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. KJV

An ambassador represents a King or Kingdom in a foreign land.

We are Ambassadors of Christ and are called to perform greater works for the Lord.  Jesus tells us:

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. KJV

God is looking for us to do great works for him.  As an Ambassador of Christ we are to be a direct representative for Him in the world.  What I like about the Lord not only does He give you a commission but He gives you to power to carry out your mission.  To do greater works we must understand the nature and honor to serve Him.

In Acts:

Acts 1:6-11

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. KJV

Subject

“Revived for Greater Service!”

The question you must ask yourself is what must I do to be of greater service to the Lord?

First     Accept the Nature of the Kingdom

Note the questions:

Acts 1:6-7

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. KJV

1.                  The Kingdom is Spiritual, Not Political

The disciples asked the question.

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? KJV

They were looking for a physical kingdom.  They were looking for Jesus to restore a political kingdom.

The kingdom of God cannot be seen on a map.  It does not offer the hope of reestablishing of a nations or a territory.  You cannot measure the advancement of God’s cause by church membership or budgets and offering.  Although the Republican Party has tried no political party can claim God’s partnership with their cause.

Witnesses and not soldiers spread the kingdom of God; it offers a gospel of peace, not a declaration of war; it changes hearts and not circumstances

2.                  The Kingdom is International, Not National

The disciples’ sights were on Israel but God’s sight is on the world.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: KJV

Our service must reach beyond our community and country.  We are to reach out to all nations with the word of God.  We are not to confine ourselves to just these four walls.  We cannot achieve our mission inside these walls.  We cannot do great work for the Lord inside these walls.  We must reach beyond these walls to touch the world for Christ.

It’s an international kingdom.

3.                  The Kingdom is Advance Gradually, Not immediately.

The disciples wanted the kingdom restored now.

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? KJV

Jesus let us know that the timing is not in our hands nor is it in His hands.

Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. KJV

We need to spend our time spreading the gospel and reaching the world for Christ and less time trying to figure when Jesus is coming. Jesus let us know, “It is not for us to know the times or the seasons…” we are just to be about our Father’s business.

God’s kingdom is spiritual, it’s international and it’s gradual.  I’m glad God is patience in dealing with the world.

Secondly to do greater service for the Lord:

Second             You must Embrace the Privilege of Witnessing

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

We are called to be witnesses of Jesus.  As we have said earlier Jesus has promised us two things when we witness for Him.

1.                  Jesus promises us His presence.

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. KJV

When we witness for the Lord He does not leave us to ourselves.  He will be with us wherever we go even to the end of the world.

2.                  Jesus promises us His Power.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. KJV

He gives us help to witness in the person of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.

John 15:26-27

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. KJV

What is a witness?

1.                  A witness an observer

The disciples saw the resurrected Jesus and He changed their lives.  A witness does not merely know what happened; he was there.  It’s not about what he heard from someone else it’s what he saw for himself.  A witness has experienced the power of God for himself.  It’s observing the power of God in your life in the small things.

2.                  A witness reflector

Sometime the best witness of who you are is what you do on day-to-day bases.  Our lives should reflect our relationship with God.  To many times we say one thing and do another.  How we react to the situation and circumstance of our life is a reflection of our relationship with God.  What do people see when they see you?  Peter puts it this way:

1 Peter 3:15-16

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. KJV

3.                  A witness is a reporter

We speak of the goodness of Jesus but do we share it with the world.  If the Lord has been good to you, you should tell somebody.

When it comes to spreading gossip we can’t wait to tell somebody.  Most of the time you just are spreading a bunch of lies.  Instead of spreading gossip we should be spreading the gospel.

If we were as good at spreading the gospel as we are at spreading gossip crime would be down in our community.

If we were as good at spreading the gospel as we are at spreading gossip our churches would be full.

If we were as good at spreading the gospel as we are at spreading gossip the kingdom of God would be growing.

4.                  A witness is a Friend

Many Christian are angry and bitter people.  They are unfriendly and self-absorbed.  How can you be a witness when you can’t get alone with others, especially sinners?

A friend is patient, kind, gracious, forgiving; merciful does that sound like the fruit of the Spirit.

Christ was a friend of sinners; you cannot witness for Jesus unless you witness like Jesus.

To do greater service for God you must accept the nature of the kingdom and embrace the privilege of witnessing.

Thirdly    You must Participate in All Places of Mission.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. KJV

We must witness here in the Glades among our family and friends.  Our ministry of evangelism should be at work and school, where we get our hair cut or done.  We should be witnessing in U-save and Winn Dixie.  Where ever you go you should be a witness for the Lord.

We must be actively involved in Church planting and with your help we hope to have a church planted in Haiti before the end of the year.

Jesus said we should spread “…to the uttermost part of the earth.”

Conclusion

We prayed for the revival of St. John First Missionary Baptist Church.  We asked the Lord to revive us for Greater Service.

If we are to be of greater service for God, we must accept the nature of the Kingdom of God.  We must embrace the privilege of witnessing for God and we must participate in all places of missions.

After Jesus ensured them of His presence and His power to witness we are told:

Acts 1:9-11

9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. KJV

Jesus was taken up in the cloud and just as He departed He shall return.

There was a question asked in verse eleven.

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. KJV

Why stand ye here, when there is work to be done?

Why stand ye here, while our kids are failing in school?

Why stand ye here, while our streets are being taken over by crime?

Why stand ye here, while young men are dieing on our street?

Why stand ye here, while our families are being destroyed?

Why stand ye here, while marriages are in trouble?

Why stand ye here, while our communities are being destroyed?

It’s time to step up and do greater works for the Lord.

It’s time to take back our streets.

It’s time the take back our families.

It’s time to take back our marriages.

It’s time to take back our schools.

It’s time to take back our community.

We need embrace the privilege to be a witness for the Lord.  We need to tell a lost and dieing world that the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life.

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